10/3/2015 0 Comments
““Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Just how do you begin the college admissions process? By developing a good college list, full of schools that fit you perfectly! College Match: A Blueprint for Choosing the Best School for You is essentially a college-counseling program between two covers. Author Dr. Steven R. Antonoff, a former Dean of Admissions at the University of Denver, has packed his book with quizzes and worksheets that allow high school juniors and seniors to examine their values and self-knowledge to reflect on exactly what they want in a school, narrow their criteria and then compare and contrast schools to add to their college list.
This is a classic. We have based the college-counseling curriculum at our school around Antonoff's College Match.
9/26/2015 0 Comments
I was speaking with a parent today who was concerned about her children getting into a “good” college. Turns out by good, she meant Ivy. Obviously, the Ivy League schools (plus Stanford) are the Trump Towers of higher education—the biggest brand names—but like Trump Towers, they’re very expensive, difficult to get into and not the best fit for everyone.
This idea was really brought home for me in a couple of fascinating books: Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz and Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be by Frank Bruni. Both books attempt to calm the mania surrounding the top-ranked schools in the country, but they come at it from different directions.
9/19/2015 0 Comments
9/12/2015 0 Comments
I love to learn for the sake of learning and not because I'm aiming for any star-studded diplomas or accreditations, but because there is so much to learn. Your book not only allowed me to see that there were other "Lost Kids" (that's what my guidance counselor called me) but further that there were places trying to find us because we aren't as lost as some of our superiors like to think.
Cool Colleges highlights schools where you run a ranch or a nuclear reactor, study the great books, don't receive grades, take one class at a time, attend after 8th grade or even attend for free! The second edition has added information on eco schools (including my favorite: the Fighting Geoducks of Evergreen State) and still has the traditional complement of ivies, near-ivies and other schools just waiting for the perfect students to find them. Intrigued? This book should be on your shelf.
The layout of the book can be challenging. It's quirky, like its subject matter, and can be difficult to follow. Do not buy the Kindle version: the hyperactive layout makes it virtually impossible to read in that format. That is the only drawback for an otherwise terrific book!
Have you read Cool Colleges? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
So what's in the book? Everything! Beginning with "The Big Picture" for 9th graders and ending with walking the seniors right onto campus, College Is Yours 2.0 is a collection of 60 short (600 word) essays on every college admissions topic your student will be wondering about, written in a humorous and conversational style. He covers creating a college list, standardized testing, campus tours, financial aid and paying for college (which are not the same thing), working with your counselor, and how to make your final choice. There's even an illuminating chapter for parents that I wish I could just type in here, but I'm going to leave you to read it for yourselves.
Since we're in this together, I've limited my chapters to 600 words--just like some of your college essays.
College Is Yours 2.0 is like a guidance counselor in your pocket, a book you can refer to late at night when you're having trouble sleeping and need reassurance. I'm not certain my boys would have actually read it if I had had it to casually prop up against the Xbox, but it would have been reassuring to me as a college admissions mom. I highly recommend it to every 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grader who is thinking about planning to apply to college.
Have you read College Is Yours 2.0? What did you think?
Lessa Scherrer is an college admissions consultant who has worked with college-bound students for many years. She is a member of NACAC and WACAC and also teaches ACT Prep, speed-reading, college study skills and college-level writing.
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